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Dog Escapes Sinking Boat, Then Swims 1.5 Miles to Shore During Storm; Finds Owner Through Church Where It Sought Refuge
LINK In an almost miraculous tale of survival, a dog that got caught 1.5 miles offshore on a sinking boat during a storm in California saved itself by swimming all the way back to land, then sought safety at a church only to be reunited with its owner who feared she had drowned.

Pastor Says God Told Him He Had Cancer, Helped Him Beat It With Prayer and Skillful Doctors
LINK Perhaps if pastor Julius R. Malone of the New Testament Church of Milwaukee wasn't a praying man he would be dead today.

CEO of Invisible Children, the Group Behind 'Kony 2012' Documentary, Announces Organization Will Close Next Year
LINK The controversial nonprofit group Invisible Children, which produced two influential documentaries that helped heighten awareness of the abduction and use of children as soldiers by the Lord's Resistance Army in the Ugandan civil conflict, has announced that it will officially close down by the end of 2015.

Utica Fire Chief Refuses to Take Down 'Happy Birthday Jesus' Christmas Sign Despite Complaints From Atheists
LINK A Utica, N.Y. Fire Chief is refusing to take down a Christmas-themed sign displayed outside of a firehouse, despite growing complaints from atheists.

Transgender Ordinance Opposed by Michelle Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Is Repealed by Voters
LINK An Arkansas town's controversial transgender ordinance that Michelle Duggar of "19 Kids and Counting" had campaigned against has been repealed.

Hundreds Gather in Washington to Honor Victims Killed in Taliban Terrorist Attack at Pakistan School
LINK A vigil was held in the nation's capital in remembrance of those killed by a Taliban terrorist attack at a military-run Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday that killed 132 children and nine staff members.

US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act, Shares Heartbreaking Stories of Atrocities Back Home
LINK Murad Ismael's words came in a constant stream, with only the occasional stammer as he grasped for the right English words slowing them down. When he did pause, his absence of words were replaced by a sigh. He sounded weary. Thousands of Yazidis, his Yazidis — those related to him by blood and those who are not — have been killed, tens of thousands of them displaced, and more women and young girls than he would care to count abducted and sold, and being used as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

'Duck Dynasty' Star Willie Robertson on Homosexuality: 'God's Going to Be the Judge'
LINK "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson told Larry King that he is "not the judge" when it comes to how people live their lives in a Dec. 15 interview.

Nicki Minaj Thanks Jesus for Painful Split in Tearful Interview; Talks Perils of Fame
LINK Nicki Minaj broke down during a recent interview while discussing her breakup from her partner of 15 years and despite her heartbreak, the rapper thanked God for the split.

Reformed Pedophile Stephen Collins Credits Faith After Child Molestation Confession; 'Christ Says "Bring Me That Which About You Is Broken"'
LINK Embattled actor Stephen Collins credited his faith for helping turn his life around in the wake of his recent child molestation confession.

Mosquito-Virus Chikungunya Has Infected 1 Million People Across Americas, Found in Florida and Texas; No Treatment or Vaccine Yet Discovered
LINK The mosquito-born Chikungunya virus has reportedly infected over 1 million people and killed 155 since beginning its spread throughout the Americas a year ago. There is no known treatment or vaccine for the disease, with cases being reported in Florida and Texas as well.

Study: Men Who Use Porn Are Less Likely to Get Married, May Be Contributing to Decline in Marriage in the US
LINK Men who use pornography are less likely to get married, according to a study published last month that shows the easy accessibility of porn on the Internet has become a substitute for seeking a marriage partner among men ages 18 to 35.

George Stinney Jr. Exonerated of Murder 70 Years After Execution at 14
LINK George Stinney Jr. was only 14 when he was sentenced to death and executed for allegedly assaulting two white girls; on Wednesday, he was exonerated for the crime and his brothers and sisters relieved.

US-Cuba Reconciliation Elicits Mixed Reactions From Hispanic American Christian Leaders; Cuba's Human Rights Problem Point of Contention
LINK Christian leaders in America have expressed both concern and hope at news of historic plans to normalize diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and Cuba. Some political leaders have also suggested that Cuba has not shown enough progress in human rights to justify easing economic restrictions.

Secret Santa Pays off $50,000 in Layaways for 100 Cash-Strapped Walmart Customers
LINK An anonymous donor surprised 100 Walmart customers recently after paying off their layaway balances to the tune of $50,000.

Jodi Arias Sentencing Retrial Update: Court Reveals Reason Arias Refused to Testify in Public
LINK Testimony has resumed in the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias after a weeklong break.

Mother Allegedly Kills Son to Send Him to Heaven Instead of Letting Him Face World's Problems
LINK A woman in Wellington, Kansas is expected to be charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, whom she allegedly killed on Sunday night in order to protect from this world.

Stephen Collins Confesses to Child Molestation But Says 'I Have Not Had an Impulse' Since
LINK Stephen Collins recently confessed to inappropriately touching and/or exposing himself to three underage girls in a statement obtained by People magazine.

Pastor Drops Dead at Pulpit During Sunday Sermon Shortly After Singing Pharrell's 'Happy' Song
LINK Just over a week ago at a celebration of his 60th birthday, Pastor Gordon A. Humphrey Jr. of United Ministries bellowed melodiously from the pulpit that "the Lord is good to me…You healed my body, You brought me back from death" as a choir harmoniously affirmed his lilting declarations.

Atheist Group Erects 11 Billboards Across Chicago; Argues That Kindness 'Comes From Altruism,' Not From 'Seeking Divine Reward'
LINK The Freedom From Religion Foundation, one of the largest secular groups in America, announced it is erecting 11 different billboards across Chicago this week with various messages. Some of the ads ask people to "think for (themselves)," while others argue that kindness "comes from altruism" and not from "seeking divine reward."

News from Christian News Wire

Christian Newswire: Religious Liberties / Persecution
LINK Religious Liberties / Persecution

Coptic Solidarity Launches Advocacy Campaign for Imprisoned Christian Mohammed Hegazi
LINK Contact: Lindsay Vessey, Coptic Solidarity, 801-512-1713, info@copticsolidarity.org WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity announces the launch of an advocacy campaign seeking the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammed Hegazi.  Mr. Hegazi -- who goes by his adopted Christian name Bishoy Armeya Boulos -- has been the subject of numerous spurious charges and sentences, prolonged detentions and threats to his and his family's lives.  H Source: Coptic Solidarity

Ratio Christi Club Kicked Off of San Jose State University Campus
LINK Contact: John Stewart, Director, Ratio Christi International, 657-201-1151, johnstewart@ratiochristi.org

Georgia Baptist Convention Defends Religious Liberty, Calls on Atlanta Mayor to Reverse Discipline of Atlanta Fire Chief
LINK Contact: Mike Griffin, Public Affairs Spokesman, 706-436-2646, mgriffin@gabaptist.org; Mark Strange, Communications, 770-936-5233, mstrange@gabaptist.org; both with Georgia Baptist Convention

Both Sides Prevail in Christmas Wars
LINK Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org

SC Federal Judge Orders Over $197,000 Attorney's Fees, Costs Awarded to Christian Pro-Life Missionary Represented by National Legal Foundation Legal Team in 2005 Greenwood Graphic 'Abortion' Signs Case -- Dec. 1, 2014
LINK Contact: Steven Fitschen, National Legal Foundation, 757-463-6133, nlf@nlf.net;

Twin Assault on Conscience Rights
LINK Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org

4 Winds Christian Athletics Disapproves of the International Olympic Committee's LGBT Policies Decided on This Week
LINK Contact: 4 WINDS, 608-469-7956

Christian Leader and Human Rights Activist to Join Joshua Wong in His Hunger Strike Seeking Democratic Reforms for Hong Kong
LINK Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition, 540-538-4741

Nativity Scene Returns to the Illinois State Capitol for 7th Year
LINK Speakers include Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society and Springfield's Bishop Thomas Paprocki

Judge Trashes First Amendment to Endorse Police Harassment of Pro-Life Advocates
LINK Life Legal Defense Foundation Appeals Federal Court Refusal to Intervene in Mississippi

Attorneys Defend the Nativity: Expression of Faith on Public Property Constitutional
LINK Thomas More Society Legal Experts Uphold Private Citizens' Right to Celebrate Christmas in the Public Square

A Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed will be Set Up in Front of the White House on Thanksgiving Morning
LINK The Christian Defense Coalition and Church on the Hill will Set Up a Thanksgiving Place Setting for Pastor Saeed in Front of the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. at 11:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving MorningContact: Rev. Patrick Mahoney, 540-538-4741 WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Participants to peacefully risk arrest standing in solidarity with Pastor Saeed and the  persecuted church and also pray for Christians around the world who are facing violence daily.They will also Source: Christian Defense Coalition

Victory for Religious Freedom in Colorado -- Colorado Supreme Court Rules that Governors' Proclamations for a State Day of Prayer are Constitutional
LINK Contact: Dion Elmore, Director, Public Affairs, National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force, 719-559-9574

Judicial Watch Sues Internal Revenue Service for Records about IRS Monitoring of Churches
LINK July lawsuit settlement with atheist group, IRS admits monitoring churches for allegedly illegal political activity

New Book Explores the Religion and Violence Connection
LINK Contact: CJCUC Media Department, 516-882-3220

Tens of Thousands Sign Petition to Keep Duggars on TLC
LINK Benham Brothers, Steven Crowder, other conservative leaders throw support behind DuggarsContact: Dustin Siggins, 703-772-4698, dsiggins@lifesitenews.com FRONT ROYAL, Va., Nov. 21, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than 40,000 people have signed a petition created by LifeSiteNews and backed by a number of prominent conservative activists urging The Learning Channel to keep the Duggars' show, 19 Kids and Counting, on-air. Now LifeSiteNews is organizing a Tweetfest, using the hashtag #DefendtheDug Source: LifeSiteNews.com

Marine Dad Banned from School Property; Daughter Gets Failing Grade for Refusing Islamic Indoctrination -- The Thomas More Law Center Steps In
LINK Contact: Catherine McMillan, Thomas More Law Center, 734-930-7141

Knights of Columbus Sends $2.2 Million to Christian Refugees in Iraq and Syria
LINK Funds will assist with housing and general relief for displaced ChristiansContact: Andrew Walther, 203-752-4253, Andrew.walther@kofc.org; Joe Cullen, 203-800-4923, joseph.cullen@kofc.org; both with Knights of Columbus NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 19, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief fund has donated $2.2 million to help displaced Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who continue to face violent persecution and the very r Source: Knights of Columbus

Second Grade Student Asks that Federal Court Protect His Religious Speech this Christmas Season
LINK Contact: Victor Bermudez or Lori Sanada, Advocates for Faith & Freedom, 888-588-6888WEST COVINA, Calif., Nov. 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Advocates for Faith & Freedom has filed a request for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, November 12th 2014. The injunction, if granted, will prohibit the West Covina Unified School District from stopping seven-year-old Isaiah Martinez from passing out candy canes to his cl Source: Advocates for Faith & Freedom

Elgin Continues to Prevent Ex-Latin Kings from Sharing Faith
LINK Contact: Attorney Andy Norman, 312-332-2400, anormanlaw@gmail.com; Attorney John Mauck, 312-853-8709, jmauck@mauckbaker.com

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